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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,950 ratings  ·  211 reviews
The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and interviews ...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2012)
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Eric Wallace
First you should know before continuing to read my review is that I am totally addicted to books about increasing productivity, developing talent and creativity, probing how the mind works and how to get the most out of it, and building good habits and influencing positive decisions. So how could I not like this book?

And yet because of said affliction, there were few ideas or concepts that were new for me, simply because I've read so much on these similar topics. Still, I enjoyed the book for it
Some great tips here, including:

TIP #4
"...write stuff down and reflect on it. Results from today. Ideas for tomorrow. Goals for next week. A notebook works like a map: It creates clarity."

TIP #16
"...set a daily SAP: smallest achievable perfection. In this technique, you pick a single chunk that you can perfect—not just improve, not just “work on,” but get 100 percent consistently correct."

TIP #50
"Grit is that mix of passion
I was lucky enough to win this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is a great book on the topic. It isn't filled with fluff or wordiness. Just a common sense approach that gets right to the point. Some of the tips were new to me and it was well worth the read. I would recommend to anyone.
Getting started

1.Stare at who you want to become
Studies show that even a brief connection with a role model can vastly increase unconscious motivation.“windshield”.

2.Spend fifteen minutes a day engraving the skill on your brain
watch the skill being performed, closely and with great intensity, over and over, until you build a high-definition mental blueprint.
The key to effective engraving is to create an intense connection: to watch and listen so closely that you can imagine the feeling of per
Mikki Ibarra
Holy Moses! I am in love with this book! Okay, I don't usually like self-help books, or inspirational type things, but I do adore things like writing prompts and simple suggestions to increase chances of success. This book sort of hauls all of that in and shoves it into these handy little tips, all of which are not beyond anyone's reach. Wow, I just keep reading and re-reading and my roommate has already told me that he is stealing the book from me when I am not looking. He read through it befor ...more
Marissa Morrison
Stare at what you want to become (e.g. watch YouTube videos).
Musicians should have "listening practice" as well as playing practice.
Play super-slowly to find mistakes.
Work in a simple, spartan space.
Learning hard skills requires precision and repetition.
Soft skills require variation and improv.
Don't stop practicing the basics.
Good coaches are impolite, scary, succinct, focused on fundamentals, and older. They also make an emotional connection in the first minute.
Find the "sweet spot" (50-80% err
Eric Jensen
The Little Book of Talent is a 'how to' guide based on Daniel Coyle's research on the science and practice of skill building and coaching (see his previous book The Talent Code). He presents 52 tips organized into three sections: Getting Started, Improving Skills, and Maintaining Progress. Coyle's approach differs from most books written by athletic coaches and music teachers in his divergent focus and emphasis on the underlying neuroscience of skill building. While this is not really a scientif ...more
This book had a lot of really great advice. And you can read it in a few short hours. Don't ask me to list it out for you, but I know it will come out of my head when it's needed. Oh! Here's something I remember. They talked about a therapy for shyness. Instead of delving into your past and figuring out why you were what you were, they just decided to create good habits. So the first assignment would be, Go ask a stranger what time it is, then go ask 5 strangers. All culminating to the final mom ...more
I won a copy through Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway program!!!

I am always skeptical of self-help books, but “The Little Book of Talent” is more of a pocket reference guide. There are undoubtedly a couple tips in here that everyone already knows…but moreover many you never thought to try.
Coyle offers quotes from famous successes and examples for how these tips relate to everyday talents. I especially enjoyed his focus of nurturing ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. Although this is not a new concept, the
Ahmed Zunair Cheema
In my estimation, this book should serve as the benchmark for self-help genre. It is concise and hence time saving but at the same time it touches almost all the relevant issues concerned with honing one’s skills.
We are already aware of some of the principles discussed but a revision rekindles the value of these things.
Anna Berendzen
I'm not one for reading the self-help kind of books but I liked this one. I received it through the first reads program. It is very short and to the point with each of the tips being no more than two pages. An easy read to expand your knowledge!
Jalynn Patterson
I really enjoyed this book. Who doesn't need to improve our talent from time to time? My favorite tip take a nap. With four kids running around I could always use this one.
Jean Konieczny
A fun book full of tips! Simple things, everyone should do, no matter your talent! Great book, great advice!
I won this book through the goodreads first reads program.

Received this book - with postage due! Only 59 cents, but still! Why didn't they just send it media mail instead of first class? This is an uncorrected proof, so I can't quote it.

I haven't read The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else. For art, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative may be better.

I definitely think this book would be a worth
A short, easy read - this is a good thing, because you can get out there and put the 52 Tips into practice right away rather than spend a week reading about them. Most likely, if you work hard at something in your life right now, you already do some of the things mentioned in here. In that case, those chapters serve as a good reminder of why you do them. And most likely, there will be some new ideas in here, too. Author Daniel Coyle smartly gives us examples from sports, science, the arts, busin ...more
Dan Shaw
Aside from the fact that the edition I read was an advance copy, thus there were more than a few grammatical errors, the sheer style of Coyle's writing was just substandard; or at least fell short of my personal standards for self help books. Having not read any of the author's previous works, nor having much preparation for this book, I wasn't overly skeptical at the onset. In actuality, many of his tips were insightful, though it consistantly references studies and people and fails to cite sou ...more
I won this book through the first-reads program.

I'm a fan of self-help books, generally because I enjoy improving myself. A good number of self-help books, though, tend to focus upon immediate improvement and immediate gratification. Well, immediate results tend to be rare, and don't last. Luckily, this book not only acknowledges that fact, but celebrates it.

This book is divided into 52 different short tips that you can execute fairly easily. Everything from napping (Einstein did it) to slowing
First, Thank you Goodreads, for the free book.
I won this one thru you.

I love this little book, this is pact of good advice on how to be better on your chosen hobby, quest in life.
I read the Talent Code, which wrote by the same author and I was really impressed of that book, and I know that this little book will be hit too.

I am amateur musician, and this book helps me out tremendously, on how to make time to be better, and this book has nailed everything on how to be better and believed in yourse
Joseph McBee
Do not let the title or the size of this book fool you. This is powerful and important stuff.

I flew through the book on the first reading just to take in all the excellent tips and strategies and now I am going back through tip-by-wonderful-tip to digest and apply what I am seeing there.

I am recommending this book to everyone I know who is interested in improving performance for themselves or those they lead, which really, should be everyone.

In these pages, Coyle reveals the strategies of the tr
This book is great for anybody building skills - whether it is in music, writing, sports, arts, public speaking, or many work skills.

There were some really good tips to keep me thinking such as spending time engraving the skill or your role model on your brain, steal technique (great Picasso quote "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal."), Be willing to be stupid, figure out if the skills is a hard skill or soft skill and different techniques for each.

Some of the tips were redundant after a
I received a free advanced copy in soft cover.

Wow this book is great. I like the fact that it is tips, small concise ideas, that you can add to your life. I don't like the usual self help books because they are long about explaining why this idea will help. Just give me the tip and the supporting theory and I can choose to add it to my life.

This book has a few tips that I may not totally agree with, but there are many excellent ideas that make great sense. It's like "why didn't I think of that!
In an extremely slim volume, Daniel Coyle outlines 52 techniques to improve skills. The basic premise states talent originates from hard work rather than instinct. Through concise, efficient tips and suggestions, he describes achievable methods to improve any form of skill, though he focuses mostly on artistic and athletic.

Any productive student of music (or athletics) would already know most of these tips - either through the right teacher or self-discovery in the absence of a teacher. What Coy
Chung Chin
If you have read "The Talent Code", and you love it, you'll love this book too.
The Talent Code presents the blueprint to talent whereas this little book presents all the handy tips on how to take the blueprint model and build it into reality.
I personally think that it's a great book that complements The Talent Code with all the concise, clear and useful advise packaged into one little book that you can quickly refer to whenever you need some idea on building your talent.
Sean Goh
Chock-full of easily implementable tips to cultivate both hard (those that have a specific way to be performed, like free throws) and soft (those that are more situational, think sports plays) skills.

$2: Engrave skills in your mind 15 minutes a day. Watch the skill being performed, with great intensity, to build a HD mental blueprint. Feel yourself performing the skill.

#5: When you push the boundaries, falling down is inevitable. Building new connections in your brain requires reaching, which en
Esther Dan
Great concise book! Power packed with nuggets of wisdom!
Really Useful

There are hundreds, no thousands, of new self-help books out there, but most are either notional (based on one person's experience or thoughts that may or may not translate to anyone else), or a complex rendering of a research project (lots of data with a conclusion). This is something different.

Each "Tip" is short and sweet, no more than a paragraph or two, with concrete images that help you understand it. But each tip is the result of intense study on a specific (narrow) topic. T
Only on page 19 of "The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills," and I am already finding this book very interesting. It has already provided me with useful information that I am putting into practice. I am really looking forward to what else this book has to offer as I continue to read it, and put what I am reading into action so I can improve various skills.
Jared Barcelos
I put this book down over and over again, not because I didn't want to go on, but because I wanted to immediately implement something from a chapter into my daily routine, or because I wanted to share one of the tips with a friend.

I will definitely be focusing on these tips as I work towards specific goals, and I am anxious to see if the result is improved progress.
Mi sono ritrovato più volte con un sorriso sulla bocca leggendo questo breve libro. Alcuni dei 52 consigli li seguo già di mio e sono frutto di anni di tentativi (mai molto razionalizzati) di imparare meglio. Spendere meno di due ore a leggerlo prendendo magari qualche appunto è una mossa che chiunque sia interessato all'apprendimento dovrebbe compiere.

Mi piace la struttura che definisce ogni punto e ne fornisce subito un esempio o eventuali ricerche portate a confermarlo. Non ho particolarmente
Vikas Kukreja
You should miss this book at your own risk. This book has highest knowledge/value per page of any book ever read. Crisp, and to the point, it reveals traits of talented ppl and how we can ingrain them. This was my first read of the many for this book. It will be revisited multiple times to guide me through my life.
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Author of the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrong’s War, Hardball: A Season in the Projects, Waking Samuel, and most recently The Talent Code. Coyle has written for Sports Illustrated, Play, and the New York Times Magazine. His work has appeared multiple times in Best American Sports Writing, and he is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist. He lives in Homer, Alaska, with his wife Jen ...more
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“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.” 7 likes
“Inspiration is for amateurs.” 5 likes
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